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Amanda Kline

Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst
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Recent Posts

Adwind Remote Access Trojan Still Going Strong

Posted by Amanda Kline on Nov 1, '17

 A Java-based Adwind Remote Access Trojan campaign has been observed sending spam emails containing a malicious JAR file under the guise of “Request For Quotation,” “Transfer Import,” “Swift Copy,” “Proforma Invoice,” “DHL Delivery Notification” and many others.  Adwind, also known as jRAT and JSocket, is a cross-platform remote access tool designed to run on Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and Android systems to exfiltrate sensitive data from its victims. It has been known to, but is not limited to, log keystrokes, take pictures and record audio, steal cached data such as passwords and form fills, download/execute malware, amass system and user information, and modify registry entries.

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Topics: Remote Acccess Trojan, Adwind

Credential Theft: How To Spot a Phish

Posted by Amanda Kline on Oct 19, '17

When people think about phishing, their mind often turns immediately to ransomware. And for good reason. After all, there have been dozens of high profile ransomware attacks in recent months.

But you know what? An even greater proportion of phishing lures don’t contain ransomware. Instead of extorting money from you, they have an ulterior motive: they’re designed to steal your identity.

Well, OK. They’re designed to steal your login credentials… but in reality that isn’t far short of stealing your identity.

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Topics: Threat Analysis, Cyber Security Awareness Month

Tech Support Scams: How To Spot a Phish

Posted by Amanda Kline on Oct 17, '17

Originating in India around 2008, tech support scams are a simple and effective way of preying on individuals’ fear.

In its earliest form, the tech support scam involved a scammer cold-calling English speaking countries, and claiming to represent Microsoft Technical Support. The victim would be informed that their machine was infected with malware, and that the caller would help them remove it if granted access to the machine.

Naturally, once access was granted, the scammer would “fix” the problem and promptly demand payment.

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Topics: Threat Analysis, Cyber Security Awareness Month

Nigerian 419 Scams: How to Spot a Phish

Posted by Amanda Kline on Oct 11, '17

All through October, in aid of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (#CyberAware) we’re putting phishing under the microscope. In each post we’ll take a close look at one specific type of phishing, including the actors responsible, who it targets, and how/why it works.

Today, we’re a true phishing classic: Nigerian 419 scams.

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Topics: Threat Analysis, Cyber Security Awareness Month

Phishing landscape thrives in the second quarter of 2017

Posted by Amanda Kline on Sep 20, '17

It probably comes as no surprise that the second quarter of 2017 brought changes in the phishing landscape. A dramatic increase (41%) in overall phishing volume was observed by the PhishLabs research team. Additionally, there have been shifts in the industries that are being targeted. This is further evidence that the threat landscape is both thriving and volatile as cybercriminals pivot and exploit different targets. 

After years of gathering and analyzing phishing data, only one thing is certain - phishing continues to be a successful attack method for cybercriminals.

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Topics: Phishing, Phishing Trends and Intelligence Report,, PTI Report

Globe Imposter Ransomware Makes a New Run

Posted by Amanda Kline on Aug 10, '17

In the world of cyber security, there are some threats that seem to have been specifically designed to wreck your day.

Ransomware is one of those threats.

Even if you have secure backups, and they’re kept safely away from the rest of your network, the time it takes to restore from them and remove all traces of the offending trojan is sure to get your blood boiling.

So when a new ransomware threat arises, it pays to make sure your house is in order, and your users are on high alert.

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Topics: Ransomware

New Tech Support Scam Strikes Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba Customers

Posted by Amanda Kline on Jun 28, '17

In a world where new cyber threats seem to develop almost daily, it’s easy to forget that some tactics have stood the test of time.

Since mid-May, PhishLabs has been tracking an ongoing consumer-focused email phishing campaign.

And what tactic have they been using? The dreaded tech support scam.

No matter how much technology develops, threat actors will nearly always default to the simplest tactic that still works. And when it comes to consumer-focused phishing, there’s nothing simpler (and more effective) than a well constructed tech support scam.

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Topics: Phishing

Evolving Tactics in Tax Phishing: A Recap of the 2017 Tax Season

Posted by Amanda Kline on Jun 14, '17

It used to be said that the only certain things in life were death and taxes.

But this adage is in desperate need of an update. In the age of technology, the only certain things in life are death, taxes, and phishing scams.

And scams targeting taxpayers and tax preparers are just the tip of the iceberg. This tax season, schools, nonprofits, NGOs, state/local governments, and aid organizations have also found themselves the targets of wide ranging tax and W-2 phishing scams. 

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Topics: IRS Phishing Attacks

Exploring the Surge in Phishing Attacks During the Holidays

Posted by Amanda Kline on Dec 1, '16

It should come as no surprise that the holiday season inevitably means an increase in scams and financial fraud. Long gone are the years where we only needed to worry about theft as a result of home burglaries and car break-ins. We not only need to worry about leaving store purchases and gifts in plain view in our cars or homes, but our credit card information being transmitted in plain text via payment services, and the ever increasing threat of phishing and ecommerce scams targeting holiday shoppers.

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Topics: Phishing, Holiday Scams

When Good Websites Turn Evil: How Cybercriminals Exploit File Upload Features to Host Phishing Sites

Posted by Amanda Kline on Aug 25, '16

Compromised websites are an integral part of the cybercrime ecosystem. They are used by cybercriminals to host a wide range of malicious content, including phishing sites, exploit kits, redirects to other malicious sites, and other tools needed to carry out attacks.  Why? One reason is because there is an abundance of insecure websites around the world that can be easily compromised. Another reason is because legitimate sites that have only been recently compromised are less likely to be blacklisted by internet browsers and other security measures.

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Topics: Phishing, Malware, GIF89a, whitelisting


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The PhishLabs Blog is where we share our insights and thoughts on cybercrime and online fraud.

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